News Feed Item

New Law Protects Pennsylvanians Recovering Lost Money and Items

Unclaimed Property "Finders" Will Be Subject to State Approval and Oversight

HARRISBURG, PA--(Marketwired - August 04, 2014) - At the urging of state Treasurer Rob McCord, legislation enacted this month will guard Pennsylvanians against fraud and deceptive practices when they employ a service to help them claim their money or property that has been turned over to the state.

With changes made through the Fiscal Code bill (Act 126 of 2014), new sections were added to the state's unclaimed property law allowing the Treasury to oversee those who for a fee assist others in locating and recovering unclaimed property -- commonly known as "finders." People engaging in that business will be required to apply for approval, register, and remain subject to Treasury oversight. McCord stressed that Pennsylvanians, businesses and other organization can always claim their property for free directly from the state Treasury Department.

"The vast majority of finders operate within the law, and they can provide a valuable service to some people who may either not know they have unclaimed property, or need help to retrieve it," McCord said. "Unfortunately, however, a relative few take advantage of those who are not fully aware of their rights."

Under long-standing Pennsylvania law, finders are permitted to charge up to 15 percent of the amount they help to claim. Treasury has regularly seen instances, however, of some finders charging a higher percentage, illegally adding additional fees on top of the allowable percentage, or fraudulently claiming the money or property themselves and passing only a small portion on to the rightful owner.

"We've seen some heartbreaking examples of people who desperately could have used the money they had coming to them, but instead sacrificed an excessively large share of it to an unscrupulous finder," McCord said.

McCord reiterated that for no charge, anyone can contact the state Treasury to check if they have unclaimed property, and initiate a claim. They can do so by visiting www.patreasury.gov or by calling toll free at 1-800-222-2046 Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. where a member of Treasury's Return Team will assist them.

Actions of some finders operating outside the law have required Treasury investigators and legal staff to invest considerable time and resources aiding and protecting citizens who have been defrauded, including making court appearances on some occasions. Often, Treasury staff has been forced to pursue cases that involve repeat offenders. McCord approached the legislature this year with suggested remedies that would permit Treasury to crack down on illegal operators while not heavily burdening those who abide by the law.

Under the new provisions, no person may act as a finder without first applying for and receiving a certificate of registration with the state Treasury. When submitting an application, finders will have to attest under penalty of perjury that they have not been convicted of a felony or certain other criminal offenses within 10 years and that they are not under investigation for such crimes, and agree to a background check to verify the information. Treasury will issue a registration certificate and number valid for two years, after which registration can be renewed. Treasury can also revoke, suspend or refuse to renew a registration under certain conditions and after due process. Finders violating the law will be subject to fines of up to $1,000 for a first offense and up to $5,000 for a subsequent offense. (More detail about the new sections of the law can be viewed here.)

Under the unclaimed property law, which was first enacted in 1929, Treasury each year receives millions of dollars in unclaimed property in the form of abandoned bank accounts, forgotten stocks, unclaimed insurance benefits, uncashed checks, contents of safe deposit boxes, and other sources of money or tangible items. 

Since January 2009, the McCord Treasury has received $1.3 billion in property and returned more than $572 million to rightful owners.

For more information, visit www.patreasury.gov.

Media contact: 
Gary Tuma
[email protected]

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Daniel Jones is CTO of EngineerBetter, helping enterprises deliver value faster. Previously he was an IT consultant, indie video games developer, head of web development in the finance sector, and an award-winning martial artist. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams.
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
How is DevOps going within your organization? If you need some help measuring just how well it is going, we have prepared a list of some key DevOps metrics to track. These metrics can help you understand how your team is doing over time. The word DevOps means different things to different people. Some say it a culture and every vendor in the industry claims that their tools help with DevOps. Depending on how you define DevOps, some of these metrics may matter more or less to you and your team.
Evan Kirstel is an internationally recognized thought leader and social media influencer in IoT (#1 in 2017), Cloud, Data Security (2016), Health Tech (#9 in 2017), Digital Health (#6 in 2016), B2B Marketing (#5 in 2015), AI, Smart Home, Digital (2017), IIoT (#1 in 2017) and Telecom/Wireless/5G. His connections are a "Who's Who" in these technologies, He is in the top 10 most mentioned/re-tweeted by CMOs and CIOs (2016) and have been recently named 5th most influential B2B marketeer in the US. H...
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
@DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises - and delivering real results.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Dez Blanchfield joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Dez is a strategic leader in business and digital transformation with 25 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications industries developing strategies and implementing business initiatives. He has a breadth of expertise spanning technologies such as cloud computing, big data and analytics, cognitive computing, m...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.